Today is National Doctors’ Day in the USA and marks the 173rd anniversary of Dr Crawford W Long first using ether as an anaesthetic. The brave friend of Dr Long, Mr James Venable, had a tumour removed from his neck and apparently the experience wasn’t traumatic enough to put him off having a similar procedure on June 6th 1842. Remarkable, I can barely muster the courage to visit the dentist.
Here’s a few historical facts that you may not have known and may find interesting, from the history of the world of Medicine: In 1747, James Lind, a Scottish naval surgeon, made the discovery that consuming citrus fruits prevented scurvy. James went onto publish his ‘Treatise of the Scurvy’ during 1754, which identified a cure for scurvy; a very common and life-threatening disease for sailors.
No-one really knew what caused diseases in the Middle Ages. The Roman Catholic Church would describe that people contracting diseases was a punishment from God for sinful behaviour and most would accept this. Although this was the case, there was some progress that was made in certain medical areas. For example, researching and understanding the Human Body (to an extent).
A friend called and said all efforts to fragment his bladder stone by ultrasound had failed and that he would have to yield to the knife. In a hapless attempt at consolation I said he was lucky not to be living in an earlier age when the cure was sometimes worse than the malady.